When Matthew was baptized about a year after Keith died, many people said to me, “I’m sure Keith is here watching today.” I agree: if it is possible, he was.
But therein lies the issue. What can we really see from Heaven? What is the relationship between this place and that?
As you may imagine, I have speculated a lot on that.
I say speculated because I have no clear evidence of exactly how it all works. God did not give us a blueprint of Heaven in the Bible.
The Bible clearly tells us that angels are separate creatures from us (see Psalm 8), so I don’t hold to the “guardian angel” belief (see also Psalm 91). The Bible also says there is no pain or sorrow in Heaven (Revelation 21:4), so I wonder how much of this place a new creature in Heaven could take seeing. Wouldn’t he miss us? Wouldn’t he long for life here with us? It boggles the mind to think about how that could work!
On the other hand, the Bible also tells us in Hebrews 11-12 that we have a great cloud of witnesses who watch us and cheer for us when we do well.
What does it all mean? How am I going to take something as complex as Heaven and put it into terms that I can understand? How can I explain it to my children? We are trying to understand something that is so much bigger and more complex than we are that we cannot hope to fully understand. Like an ant trying to describe the universe. Like a 2-dimensional creature trying to explain a 3-dimensional world. Can’t be adequately done.
Bottom line is that I can only speak to what I think and feel. And…as long as it is not contrary to Scripture, I don’t see that there is a problem with it. We are all speculating anyway.
So here are a couple thoughts on the subject.
I feel like the glory of Heaven, the end of the story (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it) so far outweighs anything here that this place cannot possibly make a creature of Heaven sad…God or our loved ones.
My dad’s favorite phrase to me when some teenage “calamity” hit my life that had me totally stressed out, was “Who will know in 20 years?” And, usually, within a few days, whatever I had considered something I would never get over, I had totally forgotten. Perhaps the scheme of time for eternity makes anything and everything we go through here fall into that category. Our loved ones can look at it the same way my dad did…as no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
So…as I ponder my sweet boy’s baptism tomorrow, and the inevitable comments about Keith’s being present, I can say a few things with certainty:
…there will be rejoicing in heaven;
…my wonderful friends and family in Christ will rejoice with me here on earth;
…I will be thinking of Keith, wishing he could be here to hold my hand and watch with me;
…and I will cry…tears of sorrow mingled with tears of great joy…the best kind of tears.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10b